Irish fall flat in opener against USF

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Two rain delays and two quarterbacks equaled a difficult season-opening loss for Notre Dame on Saturday, as the Fighting Irish dropped a 23-20 decision to South Florida.

Five turnovers -- including three in the red zone -- ultimately doomed the Irish, who outgained the Bulls, 508-254. USF did not commit any turnovers on the day.

USF coach Skip Holtz joined Gerry DiNardo (LSU) and Eddie Anderson (Iowa) as the only other Notre Dame graduates to defeat their alma mater as a head coach.

Sophomore Tommy Rees replaced starter Dayne Crist to open the second half after Crist went just 7 of 15 for 95 yards in the first two quarters.

Rees finished 24 of 34 with 296 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.